Ex-NFL Player D.J. Hayden, Five Others Dead In Houston Crash

Former NFL cornerback and University of Houston standout DJ Hayden died along with five others in a tragic car crash on Nov 11.

Former NFL cornerback and University of Houston standout D.J. Hayden died along with five others in a tragic car crash on Nov. 11 in downtown Houston. According to the Houston Chronicle, a crash happened at approximately 2 a.m. at the intersection of Fannin and Pierce streets. Megan Howard, assistant chief of the Houston Police Department, told the Chronicle that a Chrysler 300 ran a red light traveling at a “high velocity” before smashing into an Acura SUV entering the intersection from Fannin.

Four people died at the scene, including a man who appeared to be homeless and the driver of the Chrysler. Four others were taken to a nearby hospital, where two of them died. One woman is currently in critical condition, and police interviewed a male passenger who was traveling in the SUV at the hospital. Howard told the Houston Chronicle, “We’re just looking to get more information from what appears to be one of the survivors of the SUV.”

According to CBS News, the University of Houston Athletics Department released a statement confirming that Hayden, Zach McMillan, and Ralph Oragwu who all played for the university perished in the crash.

“We extend our deepest condolences to their families, friends, and loved ones, as we collectively mourn the loss of three individuals who made an indelible impact on each life they touched,” the university said. “While their combined talents provided Houston Football some of its most unforgettable moments, their unique legacies will best be remembered for the way they loved their teammates, supported their communities and defied the odds.”  

Hayden was drafted in 2013 in the first round of the NFL Draft by the then Oakland Raiders before eventually playing for the Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars across eight seasons. Hayden last played in 2020 as a member of the Jaguars.

The Las Vegas Raiders issued a statement upon learning of Hayden’s death.

“D.J.’s courage, perseverance, and dedication to his teammates will be fondly remembered by everyone who knew him,” the Raiders said. “The prayers of the entire Raider Nation are with D.J.’s loved ones at this time.”


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